We have all heard that the best way to reach a healthier weight is through diet and exercise. Many of us have tried this combination unsuccessfully, mostly because we were unable to define it well enough on our own or institute the correct personal regimen. In fact, it’s been estimated that approximately 80% of overweight or obese persons have attempted but unsuccessfully maintained weight loss on their own. Long-term adherence to a diet and exercise program is the key to success. But other than diet and exercise, is there more we can do to ensure our weight loss success?

Behavioral patterns affect our success when we try to alter our eating habits and lifestyle choices. Barriers to changing our daily patterns include having or making no time, being inconsistent with the routine, being too tired or thinking it is too hard. Although common, these obstacles don’t have to prevent you from attaining your weight loss goals. The best way to overcome these common obstacles is positive social support from a professional.

The National Weight Control Registry offers the longest prospective study on individuals who have successfully not only lost weight, but have maintained weight loss over time. The most effective strategies include receiving assistance and support, especially from a nutritionist or physician. Your doctor can not only suggest a regimen that matches your personal lifestyle, but can regularly check on your progress. He or she may recommend restricting certain foods, limiting food quantities, incorporating physical activity and monitoring calories. Most importantly, this coach will encourage you to stick with your choices and help you celebrate the milestones along your journey to a healthy weight.

Successful weight loss is categorized as a person losing 10% of their body weight and maintaining that new weight for at least one year. Regular contact (such as monthly meetings) with a physician who is tracking your progress is one of the most successful ways to establish successful long-term weight loss. Professional social support, coupled with a strong internal desire to succeed, can counteract the behavioral factors that may otherwise undermine a person’s attempt to lose weight by diet and exercise alone.

On a personal note…

One of the reasons that healthy weight loss is emphasized at my office is because I have personally witnessed remarkable results. Over a period of 14 weeks, I have lost 40 pounds with Optifast. I am not only a physician who instructs you on how to lose weight, but I offer personal insight as to the best methods—because I can relate.

First, I have each individual fill out a lifestyle assessment questionnaire so that I can understand your background and habits. I strive to work with your lifestyle rather than asking you to change it. It’s then very important to me that we set goals for immediate weight loss. Seeing immediate results is one of the best ways to keep a person motivated and on schedule with their diet and weight loss, so it is something I value. This is actually the number one reason that I prefer Optifast—it is a system that effectuates early, controlled, substantial weight loss. After that, it’s all about following up with you to ensure that you stay on the right path.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss how you can lose weight in a healthy and long-term way with Optifast. I am happy to share my story and help you come up with the correct weight loss agenda to meet your needs. If I can do it, so can you.

– Richard A. Levine, MD FACP